Celebrating RI: All Things Great & Small

On 17 August 2023, the Republic of Indonesia celebrated 78 years of independence via reverential flag-raising ceremonies held at government offices, public squares, schools, and villages across the length and breadth of the archipelago. 

As in years past, a joyful ceremony marked the annual event at The Bali Safari and Marine Park in Gianyar, a short ocean-drive trip from the provincial capital of Denpasar. At the Park, feelings of jubilant celebration of the Republic’s 78th birthday know no bounds with participation, including the Park’s captive animal population and the people who work at Taman Safari.

Assembled in respectful, orderly rows, people and animals alike followed the patriotic solemn ceremony mirroring an event when President Sukarno stood on Jalan Proklamasi in Jakarta at 10:00 a.m. local time on 17 August 1945 to announce to the world:

“We, the people of Indonesia, hereby declare the independence of Indonesia. Matters concerning the transfer of power and other matters will be executed in an orderly manner and in the shortest possible time.”

In Bali, amidst a setting of intense natural beauty, heartfelt patriotic pride intermingled with a commitment to conservation and sustainability gives a unique quality to remembering Indonesia’s moment of birth.   

The special relationship forged between the more than 600 people and 1,000 animals who work and live at Taman Safari Marine Park was evident at the flag-raising ceremony. Held in the Park parking area, selected animal guests including Asian Elephants, Iguanas, Pythons, Nuri birds, Macau’s, and wild goats.

In conjunction with the momentous flag-raising ceremony on Independence Day, several other activities were held, such as a Cleaning Blitz, friendly games and contests between team members, and other contests between park visitors.

Commenting on the special activities organized in connection with Indonesian Independence Day, Marcel Driessen, general manager of Taman Safari, commented: “The celebration of 17 August at the Bali Safari Marine Park proves that the spirit of freedom knows no limitations by involving elephants, iguanas, colorful birds, pythons, and canines, messages on bio-diversity, cooperation within the human committee, and conserving the natural world. This unique flag-raising ceremony attracted a positive response from Park visitors and resulted in a broader understanding of liberty and freedom. In our celebration, nature and the animal kingdom have been made an inseparable part of the people’s struggle.”

Continuing, Driessen emphasized that the day’s celebration also bolstered the people’s appetite for national progress and development. Adding: “We celebrate our achievements and are committed to achieving a brighter future. Through the active participation of Bali Safari employees and all Indonesian citizens, we foster brotherhood and solidarity, making independence a milestone in securing achievements after achievements on the way to a more advanced Indonesia.

About Bali Safari Park

Bali Safi Park, established in 2007, is part of the nationwide Taman Safari Group (TSI). Located in the Village of Serongga, Gianyar Regency, in Bali, Bali Safari Park is home to more than 100 exotic species and is a leading conservation agency involved in the care and propagation of endangered species. 

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